During the winter months, white trout become very abundant in Pensacola Bay and give anglers the opportunity to have some family fun on the water. In addition to be an easy target they are pretty good to eat as well.
One great thing about fishing for white trout is that it can be done by boat or from land. They can be found in a number of different locations throughout Pensacola Bay, but the Pensacola Bay Bridge is without a doubt the best spot to go.
Quite often you will find a dock or deep hole that is holding them, but the bridges are hard to beat. Garcon Point Bridge and Bob Sikes Bridge usually hold some this time of year, but you typically won’t find as many there as you do at the Pensacola Bay Bridge.
If you’re going after them from a boat a bottom machine or what’s known to some as a fish finder can be a big help. They always stay in schools so you’ll just want to look for them marking up off the bottom and drop a bait down.
It’s a little different if you’re targeting them from land. You basically just want to move around until you catch one and then stick to that spot for a few minutes. Once you get them biting you can usually sit in one spot and catch them one after another.
They can be caught using both natural bait and artificial lures. If you’re using natural bait some good choices are fresh shrimp, mullet, or squid. For those who want to target them with lures you’ll want to use soft plastics like Berkley Gulp! Shrimp or Matrix Shad.
Your everyday inshore rod and reel outfit will work perfectly fine. Many anglers prefer to use braided line over mono just because you can feel the bite a little better. If you’re looking to purchase a rod and reel to get after them just look for a 3000 size reel with a 7 foot rod.
They are one species that can be caught both night or day, quite often the best bite is even after dark. The tide can play a significant role so you’ll want to plan your trip around it to some extent. Incoming or outgoing can be both be good, you just want to make sure you have moving water.
They are definitely overlooked when it comes to table fair, but you must eat them fresh. They don’t freeze well so only keep what you plan to eat at that time. They are excellent fried, but you can also cook them many other ways.